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County, charter schools to meet on fix to traffic mess along Boyette Road in Riverview

Posted at 2:48 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 18:37:35-04

Two charter schools that sit across from each other along a major route to I-75 are planning to meet with county leaders in the next several weeks to try and ease traffic congestion.

Valrico and Bell Creek academies sit along Boyette Road in Riverview, the main thoroughfare to I-75 from Fishhawk and surrounding subdivisions.

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In October, ABC Action News reported that the Charter Schools Association hired a private traffic consultant to find a fix to the traffic congestion.

The two academies, plus a public elementary school and a private church with a school, all start school around the same times during the busiest rush hour times.

We found out that the charter schools will meet with Hillsborough County leaders in the coming weeks to go over the independent traffic consultants ideas.

Since the county owns Boyette Road, any changes would have to go through their approval.

Valrico Academy sits on the north side and Bell Creek Academy sits on the south side.

In October, we reported how the charter schools changed their bell times for the 2018-2019 school year to stay in sync with the Hillsborough County School District.

The president of the Charter Schools Association Michael Strader told ABC Action News six months ago they hired their own independent traffic engineer consultant to evaluate the flow of traffic for the schools.

Although, they would not give insight into their hopes, they say they hope one of their ideas will be realistic.

Drivers who have to drive that stretch of Boyette Road, near Bell Shoals, say they feel the traffic is the same — if not worse.

It could be the case, as we found out in October, that county transportation leaders tweaked the timing of the lights to give the pedestrians walking to the schools more time to cross the roads.

Those time changes are only during the morning rush hour.

The traffic meeting with county officials is schedule for April 26 at Bell Creek Academy.

ABC Action News will continue to follow this story, and will follow up on the private meeting between the county and charter schools.